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Chickens won't go in

401 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Sanza
Hello All,

I have a question that involves our Australorps. We picked up 12 Australorps chicks mid-March that we kept inside under a 200w heat lamp bulb (well...2 turned out to be Bardrocks). A little over a week ago we moved them into their outdoor coop (a mobile coop that will follow our Angus on pasture) which we kept them in for the first week - also using the heat lamp. This past weekend we let them out during the day, expecting them to head right back into the coop at night. They didn't! They huddled together near the coop, but did not go back in. The next night, same thing. Third night, same thing.

This may be less an Australorp question, as it is a chick to pullet question but, has the 24 hour light caused them not to recognize evening, and head in to roost? Or do Australorps behave different from previous chickens we raised in the past? Once this storm clears out tonight and our night time temps warm up a little more we plan to remove the light.

Has anyone else encountered this type of problem?
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They didn't! They huddled together near the coop, but did not go back in. The next night, same thing. Third night, same thing.
That's not too unususal with young chicks of any breed.
Just keep putting them in the coop, and they will figure it out in time
Yup, I agree....going to have to keep putting them up for a while until they get the hint that they are to go in at night.
Last year some of my mixed flock (wyandottes, silkies, and meat birds) had to be put in every night. I think it was because the wyandottes were picking on everyone.
Also maybe its just to darn hot in there.
Try a smaller watt light thats also red in color.
Thought I would check back in...over the last two weeks things are a little better.

After several days of no progress a friend of ours suggested closing the coop up with the food inside until dusk - so when we open the coop they should rush in to eat. This is working with 7 of the 12 but the 5 still hunker down together outside the coop. These five seem to be learning the routine and don't go quietly. As the five get into the coop they make a bee-line for the food, so it's not that they are not hungry

So...any other ideas to entice these 'slow to learn' pullets to get into their coop at night. Between the foxes, bobcats, and coyotes I doubt they would last the night outside the coop.
No advice really. Keep doing what you are doing.
They are not famous for their intellect.:)

I have made it a little game I call, "Who is too dumb to live?"
You can take bets on which one gets eaten first. :D

Usually they are fine right up til the day I am away from home til after dark...
Yeah, we are kind of figuring that out.

The two Bardrocks are the first two in when the door opens, and are the only ones starting to roost. The Australorps still huddle in a ball on the coop floor.
I have Silver Laced Wyandottes right now, they are very pretty.
When they are gone I am going back to the Barred Rocks.
They have been smarter and better layers, even though the roosters are always pretty mean. :D
Have you ever seen any young kids that want to go in before it's pitch dark? LOL
It's just a teenage chicken thing and as they get older they wise up to the fact that predators like to prowl at dusk and they'll start going to roost earlier. My layers are always roosting 2 hours before dark.
OTOH it could be that they are scared to go in there because of something bothering them at night.
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